Injured Utah little leaguer recovering, has call with coach

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) – A Little League World Series player who seriously injured his head when he fell from his top bunk in the dorms at the World Series complex has FaceTimed with his coach and continues to improve, he said the coach on Friday.

Mark Ence, the manager at Snow Canyon, Utah, said he told his 12-year-old player, Easton Oliverson, that he loved him, and Easton said he loved the coach.

“It was great to hear his voice,” Ence said.

Easton has been recovering in the hospital since Monday’s accident. His MRI Wednesday night came back normal, and he has started walking and going to the bathroom on his own Friday morning, Ence said.

“I’m not familiar with the recovery process for this type of injury,” Ence said. “But he is definitely getting better and the family wanted to let everyone know that they are grateful for the thoughts and prayers and that they feel the prayers are working.”

Ence spoke to reporters hours before Utah, representing the Mountain Region, played its tournament opener against Tennessee from the Southeast Region.

With Easton’s condition improving so quickly, his father, Jace, will return to the chamber to resume his role as an assistant coach. Additionally, Easton’s brother Brogan was added to the team’s roster.

“You can have 14 on a list,” Ence said. “We had 13 and we were able to get Easton’s little brother Brogan to come and be with our team so he arrived yesterday. The family is really excited. I think it’s going to be huge for the family in terms of healing process that Brogan is there.”

The coaching staff and parents have worked to keep the players focused on the upcoming games and enjoy the Little League World Series experience.

“Being children, they recover quite quickly. They’ve enjoyed it here and kept busy,” Ence said. “It’s definitely been more stressful for the parents, but the kids are doing great.”


Jake Starr is a journalism student at Penn State.

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